Tag Archives: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj

Nations where UN designated terrorists roam freely have no place in the comity of nations: Sushma Swaraj calls Pakistani bluff

Newsroom24x7 Special Correspondent

sushma-swarajNew York: Blunting the Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif’s tirade against India at the UN General Assembly last week, India’s Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj today said at the UNGA that nations where UN designated terrorists roam freely, lead processions and deliver their poisonous sermons of hate with impunity, are as culpable as the very terrorists they harbour. Such countries should have no place in the comity of nations.

Ms. Swaraj was speaking during the general debate of the 71st United Nations General Assembly. She said: “The Prime Minister of Pakistan used this podium to make baseless allegations about human rights violations in my country. I can only say that those accusing others of human rights violations would do well to introspect and see what egregious abuses they are perpetrating in their own country, including in Balochistan.” The brutality against the Baloch people represents the worst form of State oppression, she said adding those who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others.

She told the UNGA that the Prime Minister of Pakistan also said that India has placed pre-conditions for talks which are not acceptable to him. She pointedly asked – What pre-conditions? Did we impose any pre-condition before extending an invitation for the oath-taking ceremony of our Government? Did we impose any pre-condition when I went to Islamabad for the Heart of Asia conference and agreed to begin the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue? Did we impose any pre-condition when Prime Minister Modi travelled from Kabul to Lahore? What pre-conditions? We took the initiative to resolve issues not on the basis of conditions, but on the basis of friendship! We have in fact attempted a paradigm of friendship in the last two years which is without precedent. We conveyed Eid greetings to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, wished success to his cricket team, extended good wishes for his health and well being. Did all this come with pre-conditions attached?

What did we get in return? Pathankot, Bahadur Ali, and Uri, said Swaraj. Pinning down Pakistan on the issue of terrorism, the Indian Foreign Minister said, Bahadur Ali is a terrorist in our custody, whose confession is a living proof of Pakistan’s complicity in cross-border terror. But when confronted with such evidence, Pakistan remains in denial. It persists in the belief that such attacks will enable it to obtain the territory it covets. My firm advice to Pakistan is: abandon this dream. Let me state unequivocally that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and will always remain so.

“History proves that those who seed extremist ideologies, reap a bitter harvest. The germ of evil has grown into a hydra-headed monster, backed by technological sophistication that threatens the peace and harmony of our world. We will not be able to win against terrorism by making specious distinctions between your problems and mine, between terrorists who attack you and those who attack me. For we do not know who this Frankenstein’s monster will devour next, Swaraj went on to observe.

The Indian Minisetr was firm in stating “we want to defeat terrorism, there is only one way – that we unite across our differences, add steel to our resolve and inject urgency in our response. We need to forget our prejudices and join hands together to script an effective strategy against terror. This is not an impossible task provided we have the will. We can do it, we must do it. Otherwise our future generations will forever hold us to account. And if any nation refuses to join this global strategy, then we must isolate it.”

In our midst, Swaraj said, there are nations that still speak the language of terrorism, that nurture it, peddle it, and export it. To shelter terrorists has become their calling card. We must identify these nations and hold them to account. These nations, in which UN designated terrorists roam freely, lead processions and deliver their poisonous sermons of hate with impunity, are as culpable as the very terrorists they harbour. Such countries should have no place in the comity of nations.

Reflecting on the scourge of terrorism, Ms. Swaraj told the UN Assembly that the current month of September marked the 15th Anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on this city (New York). Tragically, less than 15 days ago, she said, another attempt at killing innocents was made through an act of terror in this same city. She further said: “We, who have suffered in Uri recently, understand the pain inflicted by the same forces. The world has been battling this scourge for long. However, despite the blood and tears of innocent victims, attacks this year alone in Kabul and Dhaka, Istanbul and Mogadishu, Brussels and Bangkok, Paris, Pathankot and Uri as well as daily barbaric tragedies in Syria and Iraq, remind us that these malevolent forces are yet to be defeated.”

Emphasising that terrorism is undoubtedly the biggest violation of human rights, Ms. Swaraj pointed out that it targets the innocent and kills indiscriminately and said terrorism has gone way beyond affecting individuals or nations – it is a crime against humanity itself. But it is important to ask – who is behind this and who benefits from it? Terrorists do not own banks or weapons factories, so let us ask the real question: who finances these terrorists, who arms them and provides sanctuaries? We heard similar questions being asked by Afghanistan from this podium.

Click here for full text of Indian Foreign Minister’s speech during the General Debate of the 71st United Nations General Assembly

Continuing gunfire in South Sudan: Indian nationals to be evacuated

Newsroom24x7 Staff

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj

New Delhi: The security situation in Juba, the capital city of South Sudan has deteriorated 7 July, onwards and there are reports of gun fire and fighting on the streets of Juba making any movement virtually impossible.

Indian Ministry of External Affairs has advised all Indian nationals against all travel to South Sudan till situation improves.

India’s Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on twitter said she was aware of the developments in South Sudan and the Indian government was planning evacuation of Indian nationals. She has asked Indian nationals to register  with Indian Embassy and not to panic.

China is not opposing India’s entry to NSG: Sushma Swaraj

Newsroom24x7 Staff

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Addressing media persons in New Delhi on 19 June 2016
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Addressing media persons in New Delhi on 19 June 2016

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was emphatic today in stating that India would become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) by the end of this year.

Ms. Swaraj was addressing the annual press conference of External Affairs Ministry here today. She brushed aside speculations saying China is not opposing India’s entry to the NSG but has raised valid concerns on the criterion for the entry process.

“China is not against India’s entry into NSG, but they have raised a criterion process. Hopefully, we’ll able to convince China as well, she said adding “I’m in contact with 23 nations.”
Instead of criteria, they should consider our track record, Ms. Swaraj said. Sharing her optimism the External Affairs Minister told media-persons that a consensus is building and India hopes to get entry to the NSG.

Click here for Ms. Swaraj’s Annual Press Conferene

SAARC nations have common enemies in poverty, illiteracy, terrorism and environmental degradation: Sushma Swaraj

Newsroom24x7 Staff

Sushma Saraj_Pokhara
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj arrived in Pokhara on March 16, 2016 to participate in 37th Session of SAARC Council of Ministers. She was welcomed by Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal and Ambassador of Nepal to India

Pokhara, Nepal: India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today said the South Asian region is hailed for its potential to be the front-runner of growth and prosperity and is one of the fastest growing regions of the world.

Ms Swaraj was addressing the 37th SAARC Council of Ministers’ Meeting in Pokhara today. She said: We have taken some important decisions to integrate our economies through SAFTA and South Asian Trade in Services Agreement. These need to be developed and consolidated further if we are to achieve a South Asian Economic Union. The statistics are telling: our region accounts for merely 2% of world trade and 1.7% of world FDI. Our intra-regional trade is less than 6% of our global trade and intra-regional FDI accounts for only 3% of total FDI inflows.

To us, Ms. Swaraj emphasised, SAARC is about positive synergy that will allow each of its members to achieve their full potential. We must recognise that we have common enemies in poverty, illiteracy, terrorism and environmental degradation. We will need to fight these challenges together since we have a shared history, and a shared destiny.
SAARC, Ms. Swaraj said, embodies the aspirations of our peoples. We are united by history and geography, customs and traditions, religions and creeds, that have given us our syncretic cultural heritage, she observed adding: “Our oral traditions have spread philosophies and knowledge to all parts of the region and the world. After many hesitant steps, we have reached the stage where we are poised for take-off as a region marked by vitality, creativity and economic growth.”
Ms. Swaraj said that despite strong growth and huge advances in education, healthcare and rural development, the South Asian region still has the world’s largest number of people living below the poverty line. The countries in this region continue to face significant challenges in delivering food security, health, nutrition and education to the peoples, Ms. Swaraj said and went on to point out that all this goes to show that while we are doing well individually, we have not been able to unleash our collective strength effectively. We must think innovatively and find solutions so that we may harness our economic complementarities and ensure a conducive environment for rapid growth.

Ms. Swaraj said that connectivity is central to the region’s development and will determine how we meet our goals of growth, employment, and prosperity. She further said, as we seek to overcome basic problems of physical connectivity, it is important for us to move forward quickly on pending agreements on rail and motor vehicles. Economic activities, cultural connections and people to people contacts will flow naturally from such connectivity.

Ms Swaraj said: We meet today several months after the last SAARC Summit in Kathmandu and a few months before the next Summit in Islamabad. This is a good occasion for stocktaking of progress made on various initiatives proposed by India to pursue our vision for SAARC integration. My Government has shown its commitment to a “Neighbourhood First” policy from its very first day in office. Our vision of “Sabka saath, Sabka vikas” is for the whole SAARC region. Together, we can create a viable ecosystem of regional integration, cooperation and socio-economic development. Together, we can unlock the latent talent of South Asia.

Ms. Swaraj reiterated India’s commitment stating as we have demonstrated in the past, India is prepared to work within the SAARC community to realize our developmental goals. Indian Universities remain open for SAARC citizens. We are committed to supporting campus and infrastructure development of the South Asian University that has been established exclusively for the students of the region. We have moved forward on unilateral initiatives that we announced at the last Summit for sharing Indian scientific and technological progress with the SAARC community. These include among others a dedicated Satellite for SAARC to support applications in health, education, disaster response, weather forecasting and communications for our people; establishment of a supra-national laboratory to combat diseases like TB and AIDS; creation of a SAARC wide Knowledge Network to interlink our students, academic and research communities; and organisation of the first SAARC Annual Disaster Management Exercise. Looking ahead, I am confident of your support for a SAARC Environment and Disaster Management Centre in India. Such a Centre can benefit from domain expertise of a large network of specialized Indian institutions experienced in quick response to various natural disasters.

Ms. Swaraj recalled her visits to Nepal and India’s other neighbours in South Asia on several occasions, and said she greatly values the warmth and friendship.

The External Affairs Minister expressed sincere appreciation to Government of Nepal for its able steering of the SAARC process since the Kathmandu Summit in November 2014. The terrible natural disaster that shook Nepal last year may have shaken earth, but could not shake the resolve of the people to re-build their lives, she said and payed tribute to their grit and determination.